Wednesday, May 7, 2008

WBW #45 Old World Riesling: Mosel Saar Ruwer (The Un-Cola)

For this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday, Tim Elliott from Winecast brings us to Northern Europe where we find some of the best examples of Riesling. I admit I'm not a huge white wine drinker but, I do enjoy a nice dry Alsace Riesling. Since, WBW is all about trying new things we decided to try a sweeter Riesling. We settled on a Mosel Saar Ruwer producer.

St. Urbans-Hof Winery is located in the village of Leiwen with estate vineyards scattered on various slopes of the Mosel and Saar Rivers. This wine is designated Qualitatswein which is the basic level of German wine quality. So, was this sickly-sweet plonk or a fine example of terroir-driven wine made from Germany's 'King of White Wine Grapes'?

Weingut St Urbans-Hof

Vintage: 2007
Growing region: Mosel Saar Ruwer
Alcohol: 10%
Price paid: $14.99

Color: light hay
Aromas: limon*, pineapple, wet stone/slate, honey
Flavors: apple, pineapple, orange blossom, lemon, lime, mica

First pour was a touch warm and smelled remarkably similar to a warm 7•Up...or maybe it was Sprite (*I noted 'limon' in my tasting notes). AH-HA-HAaa... Beyond the clear citrus-effervescence notes, are ripe pineapple and soft hints of wet stone. The back label notes the fruit came from sites featuring slate soils and I concur it's easy to find slate on the nose. On the palate we find apple, pineapple, and orange blossom. Also there is a rich mineral component that reminded me of Mom's Mary Kay lipstick (which I thought would be best described as "mica"). The wine has medium light body and a moderate citrus and mineral finish--not cloying. This is a basic wine with a light touch, delicate sweetness and nice round mouthfeel.

We tried this wine paired with a few different dishes but by far the best pairing was fish tacos topped with lime-tossed cabbage, tomato, cilantro, avocado, and creamy chipotle sauce. The light sweetness and effervescence of the Riesling is a perfect foil to the spicy, smoky sauce and creamy avocado. Before having tried this combo my mind would usually zero in on Corona with lime for fish tacos. Now I can't imagine anything better than an off-dry Riesling to go with Baja cuisine.

Once again, we have to give a shout out to Tim for this month's WBW theme. Also a big shout out to another Riesling advocate and WBW Founder, Lenn Thompson. I will definitely be picking up more Mosel Rieslings to go with my lighter summer fare this season.


winecast said...

Thanks for your contribution Becky. Sounds like a nice example to try.

Tim Elliott

Dale Cruse said...

Sounds like you had as much fun with your Riesling as I did on this Wine Blogging Wednesday!

Diane Letulle said...

Fish tacos are a new guilty pleasure for me. Wish I knew a place to get them take out so I could try your Reisling with them. My beef about getting to enjoy Riesling is that I can rarely find it by the glass at casual joints that might serve fish tacos. Like you, I love dry Alsace Rieslings and I wrote one up for WBW.